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Ever since it was first introduced in 2009, Klout has seen its fair share of fans and critics. Fans, such as bloggers, use Klout to highlight their “online influence” in order to snag freebies, and businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, use Klout to identify socially influential customers whom they can give upgrades to, in exchange for some nice press. On the other hand, the critics have bashed Klout relentlessly, with one calling it “the Internet equivalent of herpes” and job seekers have reportedly been denied jobs because their Klout score was too low.

So what is this Klout thing anyhow? Well Dave recently did a full write-up on it Klout - Networking To Increase Your Online "Influence" Score Klout - Networking To Increase Your Online "Influence" Score I wasn't a fan of Klout when I first heard about it. Even after I signed up and actively started to delve through what Klout is and does, I was underwhelmed. Actually, I'd go as... Read More but if you’re in a hurry and want the short version, Klout is a way of measuring a person’s influence online. It pulls together the social activity from a person’s Twitter page, Facebook account, Google Plus page and much more.  Then it comes up with a number and that number is your “Klout”, your level of online influence. The higher the better. Mine is 54 (which could get me tickets to a Bon Jovi concert!) and goes one or two points either way, every 2-3 weeks. To give you some comparison points, Barack Obama is a whopping 94, Pepsi is a miserable 10 and Harry Potter is 58 (I’m being beaten by a fictional character – that’s REALLY embarrassing!). Oh and MakeUseOf, your favourite tech blog is 65.

So now it’s time for you to tell us in the comments what you think.  Is Klout a total waste of time and another stupid useless gimmick on the Internet?  Or do you think there are practical uses for knowing who the movers and shakers of the Internet are?  Do you have any ideas how Klout might be improved? It’s time to vent!

Infographic Source: www.onlinedegrees.com

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